How does the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infectionvary by sex?

Updated: Feb 20, 2020
  • Author: Peter A Gearhart, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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The overall prevalence of HPV in women is reported to be 22-35%. In men, the prevalence is reported to be 2-35%, depending on the sexual practices of the population being studied. However, a well-defined population study found the female-to-male ratio to be 1.4:1, [20] and CDC reports demonstrated that this disease affects females more frequently than males.

The prevalence of condyloma acuminatum seems to be similar in men and women. A study from an STD clinic found that 13% of men and 9% of women had condylomata acuminata. [23] HPV infections are reported more frequently in US college females [53] than in male counterparts. This presumed higher incidence of HPV infection in females may be the result of detection of HPV infection in cytologic smears performed for cervical cancer screening. Females seek medical care for genital warts more frequently than men do. [26]

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